The West Midlands Team

RGF - team pages

Made up of finance, sales, marketing and business development experts, the GetSet for Growth West Midlands team is dedicated to offering their support and expertise to SMEs in the West Midlands area, thanks to the Regional Growth Fund. Read about their expertise below, or contact us to find out more.

If you’d like support from the GetSet for Growth West Midlands team, register now >>

Follow us:


Ian Gardener

Ian Gardner, Project Director

Following a career in business and corporate banking, Ian is delighted to join the GetSet for Growth team as the Project Director. Before joining the team he worked at a Community Finance Development Institution across the West Midlands, arranging loans for businesses that were unable to access all of the funds they needed from mainstream banking sources. Ian has also been contracted to support Directors and owner-operators as part of the review into the sale of Interest Rate Hedging Products, instigated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prior to these specialist roles, Ian’s extensive banking expertise has included customer-facing lending and business development roles, including as a Senior Credit Analyst supporting larger SMEs and professional services firms with their borrowing requirements.

As part of the team at GetSet for Growth West Midlands, Ian’s role will be to use his extensive experience of the local finance market and his connections within the West Midlands business community to support local businesses in improving their investment readiness and addressing any access to finance requirements.

David Annable

David Annable, Senior Business Finance Advisor

The early years of David’s career were spent in various accountancy practices where he qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant before leaving the profession to focus on business consultancy and advice. Having run his own consultancy business for the last 12 years, which specialised in providing advice to SME and owner managed businesses, David is well versed with many business sectors including manufacturing, retail, travel and tourism, the motor trade and leisure industry. Recent clients have included a specialist car restorer and repairer who managed to turn a six-figure loss into a profit within twelve months. He also advised on the acquisition of an independently owned gym that more than doubled its membership within the first 18 months.

Following this breadth of experience, David is extremely well placed to help SME owners adapt their businesses and take them to the next level, ensuring they have sound foundations in place from which to grow.

Having experienced the challenges growing businesses face first hand, David is passionate about helping businesses succeed in his role at GetSet for Growth.


Clare Mckee, Senior Marketing Advisor

Clare Mckee is an accomplished, results focussed sales and marketing consultant. Throughout her career, she has helped scores of businesses from SME through to enterprise level businesses dramatically increase sales with her ability to identify and isolate what needs to change.

With a Masters degree in Online Marketing Practice, Clare has worked closely with marketing teams, designers and business owners, ensuring that the user is placed at the heart of all of their marketing.

Clare helps GetSet For Growth’s SME clients reach their full business potential. With objective evidence based approach she ensures clients create robust marketing plans that can be implemented and optimised.


Kathy Poole, Partnership Manager

Kathy is responsible for driving GetSet’s partnership network and fostering collaboration between key local stakeholders, from local councils and LEPs to central government and other business support providers.

With a strong reputation in business management, operations and account management across the banking, leasing, asset finance and commercial loan industry, Kathy has held senior roles at NatWest, First Independent Finance, Classic Leasing, BCRS Business Loans and latterly at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce as advisor and ambassador for the Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire Jobs and Growth Fund, a £4M grant fund supported by the Regional Growth Fund providing grants for growing and aspiring SMEs from a raft of industry sectors.

Kathy has supported companies in applying for, and securing grants and indeed while at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce was instrumental in raising awareness of the support available which helped drive the full allocation of the fund and which led to a further £4M being secured for the area.

A passionate and warm communicator, Kathy uses business relationships and networks to drive growth and nurture mutually beneficial working practices that have impressive results, sharing her experience and management style with others to demonstrate how businesses can be results driven, whilst still cultivating a work ethic that champions and values the people that make up a workforce and client base.

Kathy is committed to ensuring the GetSet service aligns with each partner’s key priorities and is tightly integrated to other business support providers in order to maximise opportunities for our clients.


Lucy Carmichael, Operations Director

Lucy is the Project Operations Director for our Regional Growth Fund contract, overseeing the national delivery of GetSet for Growth. She brings to the role substantial experience of delivering outsourced public services in the increasingly competitive welfare-to-work sector.

Most recently she worked on the government’s flagship Work Programme contract, where she was responsible for the provision of employability, skills and health support for long-term unemployed individuals. Lucy has led contracts across seven Local Enterprise Partnership areas of the UK, consistently demonstrating a results-oriented focus on quality service provision.

Lucy’s collaborative approach to delivery sees her working with a range of private, public and third sector partners to achieve the best for clients and to align efforts with partner organisations and shared interest groups. Her passion for supporting communities to unlock their potential has allowed her to work previously with service providers in Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, East of England and Poznan. She is particularly keen to work with groups who have complementary interests in supporting small and medium business to grow.